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What's The Word?: Hilltop hip-hop

Mr. 2Hott reps South 12th and Trafton pretty darn thoroughly

MR. 2HOTT: It's his Hilltop.

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Many blogs and websites will let ya know who are the hottest MCs in the game. I give kudos to those spots. I frequent them often. These sites have a plethora of trendy, hipster, white guy, frat-hop and cool guy fashionista hip-hop. One thing these online entities usually lack is an update on who the streets are listening to. That's where I try to come in.

If ya live, are from or frequent Hilltop Tacoma often - ya know it is changing. I'm not here to say it is changing for the worse or for the better. It is a different place than it used to be - or is it? How different is it really? It did go from being the epicenter of African-American culture and business, to a mixed-variety neighborhood. Nestled amongst the new bars and in between the white guys with beards, are strong, stalwart, steadfast holdouts of true Hilltop culture. The police can try to extinguish the Hilltop Crips, but we know that will never happen. There are also smaller, street-specific sets and crews that claim Hilltop and their actual street of residence. There are cliques on 19th, 15th, 12th and Eighth Street. Highly neighborhoodized music is coming from these areas - case in point, Mr. 2Hott.

Brought to us from the Synergy Entertainment music-family, Mr. 2Hott is a young Hilltop MC who reps South 12th and Trafton pretty darn thoroughly. You can tell Mr. 2Hott is not a Johnny-come-lately type of guy. His video, which is the newest video from the Synergy Ent. Family, is one of the best looks into current youth Hilltop culture. YouTube "100 Roundz" to really see how young people kick-it, get along, party and build family and community in the most famous neighborhood in Tacoma.

For me personally, it is refreshing to see youngsters, out in their communities, claiming it as their own. All the fancy priced drinks at 1022, and all the thick black-rimmed eye-glasses at 1111, cannot take Hilltop away from its true young population. It is a healthy pushback. Hilltop will not become overly gentrified as long as Mr. 2Hott and a few others out there keep shouting out their block, being seen and being heard. Long live Hilltop hip-hop!

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